I know where the writer's block is coming from. I want to tell the story of the greatest summer ever- the summer of dancing in the middle of a cow field on fresh beach sand, a stove hiding in the unfinished den, the summer of boys, boys, and ... more boys. There were farm trips, camping trips, shanty trips, more than one lake rendezvous, and we are not even to the fourth of July.
We would keep our watermelon cold by throwing it in the lake. We would have high school parties and spend our mornings planning our evenings. We would work when we needed money, but mostly tried to pass the time until we were together again. Every night brought a new adventure, a new disposable camera and new pictures from the night before.
This was the last summer of truly being young and carefree, while still being an adult. We were in our twenties. We were carefree and we were in love with being out of love.
It was awesome.
It was the summer that changed everything.
Is is, however, a different story.
So, let's back up...
Prom Queen & I were at the twenty-somethings Social Mecca. A medical student would boldly make his way to the Mediterranean goddess that stood next to me (AKA- Prom Queen) and introduce himself. I didn't catch his name but caught the tail of the conversation as he walked off; Prom Queen's number in his phone.
"There is no way he is in medical school," I said, maybe a little too matter-of-factly.
"Oh, I know," PQ said, "But, good grief he's cute. He said he'd call me tomorrow."
"I mean, it's Wednesday," I said, "What medical student could go out on Wednesday night & be at school on Thursday?"
Turns out, that since we were not medical students.... we did not know.
"What was his name, anyway? He looks familiar...." Wife said...
John never folded into Team Prom the way everyone else did. At one point, he commented that we spoke our own language (we did) and asked if we had been friends since third grade (we weren't). John needed reinforcements. John needed bait.
What group of twenty-somethings can turn down a baseball game? Team Prom was having a prom committee meeting at a baseball game on a Thursday evening in early May. Section 22, behind the first base line. Maybe it was outfield? Whatever, we weren't there for the game. We had no idea who we were playing. Much like the [Masters] Tournament, there are two types: Those that go to see and those that go to be seen.
Team Prom was in the second category. And it was bad ass.
PQ & I arrived fashionably late. John was waiting for us with his class who had just finished exams and they were ready to blow it out of the water. Every first year medical student in section 21 had a cup in hand and handful in the bleachers at their flip-flopped feet in front of them. They were pale as the fluorescent bulbs of the library fail to give that healthy Vitamin D glow we all strive for. But, they looked relaxed & happy to be out from the cadavers, professors, and elated about the glorious four months that stretched before them- their last four months of freedom.
We paid our $8 to get in, grabbed $1 cup and started over to the stairs between Section 21 & Section 22- our locals were in 22 & Team Prom was waving from the top. I had on a (probably too short) pink linen skirt & PQ was wearing a (probably too short) madras patchwork skirt. We had spent the day on the river before showering and heading downtown to the baseball stadium.
And then, there are those days that everything just goes right. Your hair is a little easier to style and looks jaw-dropping. The radio is playing all great music. The too tight skirt is a little looser. There are nothing but green lights. A nice man smiles and lets you cut in front of him as he is still waiting. Someone dropped a $5 bill. There is that long lost friend who screams your name out of the blue. And you know everyone. It's just one of those days when the winds are in your sails and the sun is kissing your face.
This day was my green-light-$5-kind of day. Everything was going right. I had my very best friend, Prom Queen as my running mate and we were out to conquer everything without fear. We start climbing the stairs heading up to the Team and everyone knows us. It was probably the first time since being in high school and going to the home football game that this has happened.
"Jordan! How are you?"
A shake of his cup & nod answered my question.
You get the idea, it was amazing- looking left to our old friends and right to our college friends and friends of friends- climbing the stairs to our troupe. John got up and walked towards Prom Queen for a kiss before continuing to climb. I caught sight of a face that looked familiar in Section 21, next to Jordan, but could not place his name. Continuing to climb, a drawl of a recognized south Georgia boy said, "Maiden Wife. How the hell are ya?" and took a sip from his cup. Obviously, some liquid courage was needed, because Look At Me. I know everyone. I'm hot. I'm awesome. I'm so much older than that nervous new kid in Athens who went on 862 first dates.
I look. I stare. I'm clueless. His name... good grief... what. is. his name. Hell. quick, think fast....
"Hey, Sweetheart- the question is, 'How are you?' and 'Where have you been all my life?'" Yeah, that'll buy me a second....
Come on, Moultrie, glasses, little sister, SAE pledge, oh GEEZ, left handed, this is ridiculous... what is his name?
WHAT IS HIS NAME?
Keep moving. You're cool. You wait for no one.
I climb to the top, while Prom Queen stops and meets John's band of pale ones before we call the meeting to order.
"Husband was cute, how do you know him?" she would ask.
HUSBAND! That was his name! HUSBAND!
"Long story, but I haven't seen him in ages. Last I heard, he was dating one of my pledge sisters- I think..."
PS- I need a better nickname for Prom Queen. Queenie insinuates an African American cross-dressing transvestite. PQ just sounds a little weird and p-r-o-m--q-u-e-e-n is really long.